The state government on Wednesday urged the Centre to provide financial assistance for pump storage projects from the National Clean Energy Fund (NCEF).In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, chief minister Naveen Patnaik said the coal-bearing states face the adverse effects of mining like reduction in forest area and risks of environmental pollution and strain on water resources.
“It is therefore imperative that the coal-bearing states be assigned reasonably lower limits for renewable power obligation (RPO). Besides, the renewable energy projects in the coal-bearing states should be funded from the NCEF.”Naveen sought 75% cost of each pump storage project proposed at Upper Indravati with capacity of 600MW, Balimela (400MW), Upper Kolab (320MW) from the NCEF. Their total capacity would be 1320 MW which required investment of Rs 3950 crore.
He added, “Once the institutional mechanism is established and in-principle clearance is accorded by the Centre, specific proposals will be submitted by the state government for execution of renewable energy projects.”The letter further read, “The hydro-electric projects with installed capacity of more than 25MW, especially the pump storage ones, may also be considered as renewable energy projects. These would help meet the peak demand and also balance the grid.”